The Escape Portal
One of the strange items in the records from the city's old library was reference to a continuously active portal located just outside the city limits. The records stated that it was positioned next to a great chasm and that the portal allowed quick travel across the chasm. The portal, a two-way construction marked by a simple arch, was paired with a portal on the other side of the chasm.
When Kaldrav and his bandits went looking for this portal, they had a great deal of trouble finding it. The reason for this is that they could not find any great chasm or even evidence that one existed. If it did exist, they first theorized, it must have been a very long time ago, because it filled in completely and left no trace. Eventually, though, they discovered the first portal in a woods nearby, but when they discovered the portal described as the twin for the first one, it was in a location far remote from these woods in another woods a few hundred miles away. The effect when using the portal is that one appears not to have gone anywhere after stepping through either of the portals, at least not at first glance. A careful look reveals that the two places are not the same (different moss patterns, different tracks in the ground, different root placements), but if one is in a hurry, the effect can be quite deceptive.
Kaldrav, always on the lookout for useful deceptions, has found a way to make use of this portal thanks to another piece of lore in the old records. The wizards (or so it seems) of the lost civilization wrote of creating a device called a portal interruption key, which is a small round necklace that would cause continuously active portals not to function for the wearer. Thus, the wearer could pass through a portal without being transported, and anyone passing in the same round would not be transported because the portal's function was suspended. However, the portal would reactivate in the following round and work normally.
Kaldrav had his wizard create a number of these portal interruption keys and gave them to his bandits. He then ordered that they create a path from the road through the portal and on into the woods, but away from the base area. This path comes very close to the base, but passes by and goes elsewhere. Further down, the bandits using this path change to another one and make their way back to the base. This path seems like one of many small game paths in the woods. The bandits then dismantled and removed the arch that marks the portal, so that it was not apparent that the portal was present.
This portal is now used as one-way portal to elude pursuit. When bandits return to the forest with law enforcement or adventurers after them, they use the escape path and ride through the portal. Since they are all wearing portal interruption keys, the portal does not activate for them. The pursuing guards or adventurers then pass through the portal unawares and end up hundreds of miles away, with no bandits in sight anywhere.
This trick has worked a few times, but Kaldrav is careful not to use it very often. It is the kind of trick that can be seen through easily if one takes the time to look carefully, and once seen through it no longer works (unlike some other tricks that continue to work even if they are known).
New Magic Item
Portal Interruption Key: This small charm can be strung onto a necklace or worn on a bracelet. When the wearer passes through a portal, the key prevents the portal from activating for 1 round. It functions once per day per portal it is keyed to. The portal activates after 1 round, so the wearer cannot stand in a portal and prevent it from working altogether. Further, the key functions only when worn, since unattended objects have no effect on portals. Portal interruption keys must be created for specific portals. During the creation process they must be exposed to the portal(s) they are to affect. Thus, the key works only for specific portals. They can be keyed to a set of portals, such as all portals in a network, but they cannot be keyed to more than one portal per caster level of the creator.
Strong transmutation; CL 10th; Craft Wondrous Item, analyze portal, antimagic field; Price 24,000; Cost 12,000 gp + 960 XP; Weight --.
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